Sunday, March 2, 2008

QUINOA- The Super Food that tastes good


" Description: Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is not a true cereal grain, but rather the botanical fruit of an herb plant. It is treated as a grain in cooking. The grains are small yellow flattened spheres, approximately 1.5 to 2 mm in diameter. When cooked, the germ coils into a small "tail" that lends a pleasant crunch. The leaves of the quinoa plant can also be eaten.
The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cystine. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa's protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Quinoa is 12% to 18% protein and four ounces a day, about 1/2-cup, will provide a child's protein needs for one day. The 6-7% fat of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it boasts a low sodium content and also provides valuable starch and fiber. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to any one's diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition. The seed is also excellent feed for birds and poultry and the plant itself is good forage for cattle".
So now that you know all the facts what do you do with it? It can be used in place of rice in almost any recipe. The water to Qinoa ratio is the same as for cooking rice..2:1 2C water to 1 cup Qinoa. Allrecipes - Recipe Search for quinoa recipies.
I made mine into a salad. I cooked 1C of Quinoa in 2C salted water brought it to a boil and simmered covered for 20 min. While the quinoa was hot I added about 1/4C Italian salad dressing, but you can use any kind of vinegrette. This was just to flavor the quinoa and let it soak up the flavor. I then put it in the fridge to get cold. I chopped Italian parley, fresh oregano, a little arugula finely and mixed it into the quinoa. I then chopped cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber,red bell pepper and a couple of green onions. I chopped everything rather fine, like in a chopped salad. Mix it with a little more salad dressing and let marinate for a few minutes then add it all to the quinoa. Salt and pepper to taste. As you can see you can use any type of herbs you 'd like and any combination of vegetables.
I like the little crunch that quinoa has and it's kind of nutty taste. I like it better than brown rice.
Since it is so good for you I will use it more often and in place of rice.

1 comment:

Shankari said...

Thanks Eileen for all that info

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